Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chicken and Pinto Bean Soup with Lime and Cilantro (Gluten-Free, South Beach Phase One)

Chicken and Pinto Bean Soup with Lime and Cilantro is made from leftover rotisserie chicken!

Chicken and Pinto Bean Soup Recipe with Lime and Cilantro found on

Food blogs are always a work-in-progress, and it's no secret I've been updating my photos on this blog for many years now. I decided that the month of Daily Phase One Recipes was a great chance for me to improve the photos on some of my favorite Phase One Soups from the past. This Chicken and Pinto Bean Soup with Lime and Cilantro is something I would happily devour for a Phase One lunch or dinner, and it had been needing a new photo since 2007

This soup is a good one to make with leftover rotisserie chicken, and if you're not a cilantro fan I'd use thinly sliced green onions instead. (You can see all the recipes from the month by clicking Daily Phase One Recipes. Check after the recipe for Phase One Flashbacks from this day in 2012 and 2013.)

I sauteed the onions and garlic right in the soup pot, which saved dirtying another pan!

Then add the chicken stock, dried Mexican oregano, ground cumin, and ground Chipotle powder or hot sauce and simmer for about 15 minutes to blend the flavors.

Add the pinto beans with juice from the can, diced chicken, and 1/2 cup hummos or refried beans (to thicken the soup).  Let the soup simmer on low for about an hour.  

If you're not a cilantro fan like I am, I'd use thinly sliced green onions to add some color to the soup.  Chop the cilantro or green onions just before you're ready to serve.

Stir in the chopped cilantro or thinly sliced green onions, turn off the heat, and let soup sit for a minute or two to wilt the cilantro.  Serve hot, with extra chopped cilantro and/or lime to add at the table.

And just for the fun of it, here's the original photo of this recipe from 2007!

Chicken and Pinto Bean Soup with Lime and Cilantro
(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

1 onion, diced small
1 T chopped garlic
1-2 tsp. olive oil
8 cups homemade chicken stock (or 5 cans chicken broth)
2 ts. dried oregano (preferably Mexican Oregano)
1 T ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground Chipotle chile powder (or use a small amount diced canned Chipotles in adobo or your favorite hot sauce)
2 cans (15 oz.) pinto beans with juice
4 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles (Anaheim chiles, not jalapenos)
1/2 cup hummus (or refried beans)
1/4 cup lime juice (I use my fresh-frozen lime juice)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or use less or substitute thinly sliced green onion if you're not a cilantro lover)

Heat olive oil in frying pan or in the soup pot, then saute onion 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and saute a couple of minutes more.

In large soup pot combine chicken stock, onions, garlic, oregano, ground cumin, and Chipotle chile powder and let simmer on low about 15 minutes.

Add 2 cans pinto beans with juice, cooked chicken, diced green chiles, and hummus or refried beans and simmer one hour or a little longer, until flavors are well combined, and beans are quite soft.

Turn off heat and stir in lime juice and chopped cilantro. Serve hot, with more chopped cilantro and lime juice to be added at the table if desired.

South Beach Suggestions:
Pinto beans are considered a "good" carb and this soup would be approved for all phases of the South Beach Diet.  Although beans are a limited food for Phase One, in a soup like this with lots of other ingredients, you can have a regular sized serving.

Phase One Flashbacks:
January 25, 2012:  Easy Pan-Fried Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce
January 25, 2013:  Slow Cooker Pork Sirloin Roast with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Soups with Pinto Beans:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Pressure Cooker Spicy Pinto Bean Soup with Ham, Tomatoes, and Cilantro ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Black and Pinto Bean Turkey Chili ~ 365 Days of Slow Cooking

Spicy Slow Cooker Soup with Ground Turkey, Pinto Beans, Red Bell Pepper, and Green Chiles ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Pinto Bean Chicken Chili ~ Ambitious Kitchen

Pressure Cooker Pinto Bean and Ground Beef Stew with Cumin and Cilantro ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosures:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

This was first posted as part of a huge month-long collection of soup recipes at A Veggie Venture.  Other soups I created for the month of soup included Lentil and Sausage Soup with Cabbage, Chicken Soup with Collard Greens, Carrots, and Brown Rice, and White Bean and Ham Soup with Chard.
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. Yum, yumm! Thanks so much for another inspiring soup, Kalyn! I'm updating now so look for your link (and a half dozen others, they're still coming in!) shortly.

  2. The SB cheese biscuits would be a great complement to this too! Looks yummy!

    Question - how long does homemade hummus keep in the fridge, do you think?

  3. I like the secret ingredient trick! and I love hummus!
    You are the soup queen!!

  4. Alanna, what a great collection of soups you've assembled.

    Blest, I would love that recipe for SB cheese biscuits if you have it. I buy hummus from Costco which stays good in the fridge for several months literally. I think homemade might spoil a little sooner, but it would be good for 2-3 weeks at least.

    Tanna, thanks. The hummus was a great addition. It seemed a little thin without out.

  5. This looks wonderful! But what I really came over to tell you, Kalyn, how much I appreciate your recipe index. It is a lifesaver!

    I am on Day Three of Phase One. I am doing OK. The one thing I find I cannot go without, though, is skim milk.

    I'll be featuring some of your recipes over the next week or so.


  6. Your addition of hummus to thicken the soup is brilliant! I'll have to try that sometime!

  7. Mimi, I think skim milk is fine for phase one. My book just says to avoid whole milk or 2% milk. (I'm looking it up in the pocket guide.) Glad you like the recipe archives. If I had been smart enough to start this blog on a different blogging platform I could have saved myself a lot of work, but I do think it's pretty easy to find things. You can also search by ingredient or recipe title. I can tell from my stats that a LOT of people who come here use the recipe archives.

    Anna, I love it when you call me brilliant. Seriously, it worked very well.

  8. Well, that's a relief, Kalyn. I have the trade paperback version of the diet and there are some inconsistencies, I think.

  9. Mimi, I think the diet is updated once in a while, so maybe you have an older edition. I know at one time they didn't allow tomatoes on phase one but that was changed.

  10. Another winner from Kaylyn. I swear, you post the BEST recipes found anywhere. And your photographs are awesome too. Just another reason why you're on my blogroll.

    Thanks yet again.

    Best -

  11. Braden, thanks. You're making me blush.

  12. We used refried beans, no hummus around in the kitchen and it turned out great! One of those dinners you keep eating even when you feel full. Will definitely make this one again! So great. :D

  13. Hi Kalyn,

    My husband and I made this for dinner tonight and wanted to let you know how much we loved it. This soup really hit the spot on a cold and rainy winter night. Thank you so much!
    Teresa and Jon

  14. Teresa and John, thanks for much for taking time to let me know you liked it!

  15. This looks so beautiful! I am warming up to cilantro --- it took me a while, but it's growing splendidly in this garden and I want to better use it!

  16. That soup really comes alive in the new photos!

  17. Thanks Lydia. There was definitely a lot of room for improvement.

  18. This was fantastic, thank you!! Even my kids enjoyed it.

  19. Tammy I'm always happy when something is a hit with the kids!


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